Frequently Asked Questions

Q&A FAQs

1. How many questions can I ask in one post?

A rule of thumb is to keep one question in one thread.

2. What if my question has already been asked?

If you have a problem and want some help, start your own question thread, even if your problem very much reminds of a problem someone else had three years ago. (If you revive an old thread with additional questions or remotely related information, someone may refer to it as a "Zombie" - or a dead thread that starts "walking.")

To help reduce duplicate posts, the Q&A forum now produces an auto-generated list of similar questions after you've typed in your question title.

3. Can I ask more than one question about a related issue?

You'll upset people if you spawn several threads about the same question. This may make people spend time answering a question that was already solved in the other thread. So, if you start more than one thread, try to direct everyone to one of them.

4. What if no one has answered my question and I still need help?

If your question has dropped out of visibility but you still need an answer, you may return it to the list of latest questions by adding a new comment - also called a "bump." Instead of just commenting, "People, I'm still looking," try to add something you forgot to include the first time around so that people have enough input to actually help you.

5. Are there some question guidelines for new members?

  1. Make sure you try to find an answer first. Other members are less likely to share their knowledge with someone who is too lazy to even try.
  2. Tag it appropriately.
  3. Provide as much background information about the problem as possible. This will assist others in helping resolve your issue.

6. What is thread-jacking?

Thread-jacking is when you hijack someone else's thread. Remember that most people want to read what TechRepublic members have to say to the original question posted and don't have time to wade through the off-topic comments.

One thing that can help prevent this is the Votes button. Voting comments down will eventually cause them to collapse. The default is set at 5 votes down, but you can change this for your profile in the Community Preferences: http://www.techrepublic.com/members/preferences

7. Can I ask questions about retrieving passwords?

If your problem is related to granting access to a system, program, email, or web site (such as a password or finding a back door) TechRepublic will not help you, and you may be criticized by TechRepublic peers and/or have your account/post removed.

8. What is the importance of the Votes button?

Please vote up comments and/or opinions that are helpful or that you appreciate.

9. What if additional information is needed to answer my question?

Respondents may select the Ask for Clarification link if more information is needed. Please reply back to questions regularly if members request additional information.

10. Can the TechRepublic community help me with my homework?

Don't post homework questions. Those questions are for you to work out, so that you'll learn from the experience. It's okay to ask for hints but not for entire solutions.

11. How do I subscribe to a Question?

On top of the title of the Question, right above the voting tool, you will see two ways to subscribe. After "Follow via," you can click the RSS image to subscribe to the RSS feed or the envelope image to sign up for email alerts.

12. When should I ask for clarification?

When you're answering questions in TechRepublic's Q&A, if you know the answer right off the bat, click Answer the Question. However, if you need more information, don't click Answer the Question to ask "What operating system are you using?" or "What were you doing and what steps did you take before the problem occurred?" Instead, please use the Ask for Clarification link, which will place your request for clarification (or more information) directly below the original question.